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Prioritization strategies in clinical practice guidelines development: a pilot study

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10 pages
Objective Few methodological studies address the prioritization of clinical topics for the development of Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPGs). The aim of this study was to validate a methodology for Priority Determination of Topics (PDT) of CPGs. Methods and results Firstly, we developed an instrument for PDT with 41 criteria that were grouped under 10 domains, based on a comprehensive systematic search. Secondly, we performed a survey of stakeholders involved in CPGs development, and end users of guidelines, using the instrument. Thirdly, a pilot testing of the PDT procedure was performed in order to choose 10 guideline topics among 34 proposed projects; using a multi-criteria analysis approach, we validated a mechanism that followed five stages: determination of the composition of groups, item/domain scoring, weights determination, quality of the information used to support judgments, and finally, topic selection. Participants first scored the importance of each domain, after which four different weighting procedures were calculated (including the survey results). The process of weighting was determined by correlating the data between them. We also reported the quality of evidence used for PDT. Finally, we provided a qualitative analysis of the process. The main domains used to support judgement, having higher quality scores and weightings, were feasibility, disease burden, implementation and information needs. Other important domains such as user preferences, adverse events, potential for health promotion, social effects, and economic impact had lower relevance for clinicians. Criteria for prioritization were mainly judged through professional experience, while good quality information was only used in 15% of cases. Conclusion The main advantages of the proposed methodology are supported by the use of a systematic approach to identify, score and weight guideline topics selection, limiting or exposing the influence of personal biases. However, the methodology was complex and included a number of quantitative and qualitative approaches reflecting the difficulties of the prioritization process.
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Reveizet al.Health Research Policy and Systems2010,8:7 http://www.healthpolicysystems.com/content/8/1/7
R E S E A R C HOpen Access Prioritization strategies in clinical practice guidelines development: a pilot study 1,2* 11 11 3 Ludovic Reveiz, Diana R Tellez , Juan S Castillo , Paola A Mosquera , Marcela Torres , Luis G Cuervo , 2,4 1 Andres F Cardona, Rodrigo Pardo
Abstract Objective:Few methodological studies address the prioritization of clinical topics for the development of Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPGs). The aim of this study was to validate a methodology for Priority Determination of Topics (PDT) of CPGs. Methods and results:Firstly, we developed an instrument for PDT with 41 criteria that were grouped under 10 domains, based on a comprehensive systematic search. Secondly, we performed a survey of stakeholders involved in CPGs development, and end users of guidelines, using the instrument. Thirdly, a pilot testing of the PDT procedure was performed in order to choose 10 guideline topics among 34 proposed projects; using a multi criteria analysis approach, we validated a mechanism that followed five stages: determination of the composition of groups, item/domain scoring, weights determination, quality of the information used to support judgments, and finally, topic selection. Participants first scored the importance of each domain, after which four different weighting procedures were calculated (including the survey results). The process of weighting was determined by correlating the data between them. We also reported the quality of evidence used for PDT. Finally, we provided a qualitative analysis of the process. The main domains used to support judgement, having higher quality scores and weightings, were feasibility, disease burden, implementation and information needs. Other important domains such as user preferences, adverse events, potential for health promotion, social effects, and economic impact had lower relevance for clinicians. Criteria for prioritization were mainly judged through professional experience, while good quality information was only used in 15% of cases. Conclusion:The main advantages of the proposed methodology are supported by the use of a systematic approach to identify, score and weight guideline topics selection, limiting or exposing the influence of personal biases. However, the methodology was complex and included a number of quantitative and qualitative approaches reflecting the difficulties of the prioritization process.
Introduction The need to set priorities for developing Clinical Prac tice Guidelines (CPGs) has been recognized by several CPG developers, in part due to the rapid development of medical technology and finite resources of organiza tions [1,2]. Although choosing which topic to address in CPGs (prioritization) is a process that is not always fol lowed by standardized processes, explicit and/or implicit choices about how to allocate funds and staff time to particular projects must be made by organizations [13].
* Correspondence: mmreveiz@hotmail.com 1 Clinical Research Institute and Health Technology Assessment Unit, National University, Bogota, Colombia
Prioritization to Determine Topics (PDT) for CPGs is frequently influenced by the availability of human and financial resources. PDT also varies according to specific needs of sponsors, such as health care organizations and the different hierarchical levels within the health research system [3,4]. A methodology that uses explicit criteria and a systematic approach for PDT may facili tate the implementation of an open, verifiable and reproducible PDT [5]. Although qualitative and quanti tative methods have been used in PDT, there are few published studies addressing the group selection and methodology that has been followed when picking clini cal topics for the development of CPGs [58].
© 2010 Reveiz et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.